16 myths about exercise that need to be busted 2023


Today, your smartphone brings the world to you, but in real life, myths frequently win over science. Many, passed down through generations and magnified by social media, are now accepted as facts of life. Who hasn’t heard that hanging from bars increases height or that morning warm water helps lose weight? We examined 16 prominent myths.

Weightlifting stunts growth.

Amite Pankaj Aggarwal, director and head of orthopaedics at Fortis Hospital, Shalimar Bagh, Delhi, says there is no scientific evidence. Krishan Chugh, director and head of the paediatrics department at the Fortis Memorial Research Institute in Gurugram, Haryana, agrees: “Age-appropriate weight-lifting as a strengthening exercise under expert supervision does not result in stunting.” Dr. Aggarwal adds that one should only start when children understand the importance of training effectively.

Early strength training benefits kids. Rajesh Parameswaran, head coach and founder of The Den Strength and Conditioning studio in Bengaluru, says a safe resistance-training program helps children and adolescents improve body composition, muscle strength, power, endurance, bone strength, flexibility, physical performance, cardiovascular health, injury resistance, psychosocial well-being, and good exercise habits.

Pull-ups and bar-hanging enhance height.

Dr. Aggarwal again denies these charges. Genetics, food, and muscle strength affect height. “Players who run around and use their bigger muscles in sports like basketball or football are more likely to grow stronger. “So, it really is a combination of things and cannot be attributed to a single activity like doing pull-ups or hanging from a bar,” says CK Birla Hospital neonatologist and pediatrician Poonam Sidana.

Swimming heightens

Dr. Sidana thinks swimming is the best exercise since it uses all the large muscles and improves the core. Swimming doesn’t make kids taller. Swimming strengthens kids, but there is no single thing that makes them taller. “It depends on their genes, food, lifestyle, and amount of movement,” she says.

Dr. Aggarwal says spinal cartilage disc compression and decompression affect height throughout the day. “Decompressing your discs may slightly increase your height. He argues that this won’t raise your height because any alterations are rapidly reversed.

Weightlifting makes ladies muscular.

No way. Women have distinct bodies and cannot bulk up easily. Women have more oestrogen and men more testosterone. Weight lifting differs for men and women. “Due to low testosterone, women can never become like Arnold Schwarzenegger, not even close,” says Cult.fit/descrip/where fitness guru Shwetambari Shetty. I’ve lifted heavy weights for a decade. I still wear XS-sized clothes and I am still petite…but toned and beautifully defined.” Shetty says weight training builds strength, reduces the risk of joint pain and injuries in old age, and lowers the risk of osteoporosis and osteopenia. Shetty says it boosts metabolism and burns fat.

Walking works.

Doctors and fitness experts agree that walking is a great activity. “Is it enough exercise?” they disagree.It’s for Mumbai’s Kokilaben Dhirubhai Ambani Hospital’s sports sciences and rehabilitation chief Vaibhav Daga. Brisk walking is a simple, free, and effective strategy to get more active, lose weight, and get healthier.

Dr. Daga, a sports medicine expert, advises 150 to 75 minutes of moderate to severe activity each week for a healthy lifestyle. Rajeev Verma, consultant and head of the joint replacement and orthopedics department at HCMCT Manipal Hospitals in Dwarka, Delhi, says walking is a great way to build cardiovascular fitness, especially for inactive people. Walking protects mental and cardiac illnesses. Dr. Verma advises walking 30 minutes a day to lose weight.

Walking is healthy, but it may not be enough to reach fitness objectives. Delhi-based celebrity instructor and Kosmic Fitness studio founder Gagan Arora says it should be a gateway to fitness-boosting workouts like running and strength training.

Sweating more in a sweater while exercise helps shed weight faster.

If you’re sweating because of a break from the air-conditioning or layering up to make yourself sweat, you won’t lose weight. Layering up to sweat more when exercising is hazardous. “Neither a sweatshirt nor a jacket will help you lose weight,” says Kokilaben Dhirubhai Ambani Hospital internal medicine consultant Bikky Chaurasia. Only exercise-induced sweating reduces weight. Jackets and sweatshirts reduce sunshine exposure, which can lead to vitamin D insufficiency.

Morning workouts are better.

Fitness coaches avoid this discussion because they offer courses and clients at all hours, but doctors agree that getting the workout and exercise done is most important. I recommend choosing a workout time and sticking to it because there is so much contradicting research. It aids your biological clock. Dr. Daga says consistency improves performance and results.

Dr. Aggarwal says regular exercise improves cardiorespiratory fitness and strength.

Mouth breathing is tiring.

Consider swimming breathing. Mouth-to-nose breathing. Swimming exhausts you, not mouth-breathing. Running with nose or mouth breathing uses the same quantity of oxygen. Dr. Aggarwal says nasal breathing lowers respiratory rate. “This means it takes less work to consume the same amount of oxygen while breathing through your nose, which may improve athletic performance and endurance,” he says. Breathing through your mouth may dry your mouth, but nasal breathing is more efficient.

Crunches tone and decrease belly fat.

Crunches will tone your midsection and make your abs pop, but your body fat percentage must be low—8-14%. The “six-pack” is noticeable in those with little body fat, and crunches define the abs. Because they’re getting toned under fat, others won’t see them. They must first burn the belly fat with cardio, sprints, HIIT, strength training, and adequate nutrition. Planks, Russian twist, hollow rock hold, hollow rock, L-sit, and L-hang may enhance core strength more than crunches.

Avoid exercising after eating.

Deeksha Ahlawat, a senior dietician at HCMCT Manipal Hospitals, said gym coaches, fitness enthusiasts, and health specialists feel exercising right after eating is bad.

She notes, “There is no scientific evidence to support the claim,” but recommends waiting 30 to 60 minutes after a meal before exercising. “Our food is digested and absorbed into the bloodstream. “Depending on what and how much you eat and your digestive system, this process can take 30 minutes to several hours,” says Ahlawat.

Contrary to widespread assumption, exercise after eating does not hurt the body or digestion. “Exercising after a meal can improve blood sugar levels, metabolism, and digestion by increasing blood flow to the digestive system, which can improve nutrient absorption,” she says.

Experts claim how much and when you eat determines your workout. Eating too much before exercise might redirect energy from physical activity to the digestive system. Dr. Daga cautions against exercising on a full stomach, which can cause cramps, bloating, sluggishness, and nausea. Pre-workout snack lightly.

Ice, cold water cause sore throat, fever, and cold.

Dr. Aggarwal denies a link. He says viruses usually cause flu, cold, and cough. “Ice doesn’t make you sick, people do. Viruses spread when ill people cough or sneeze. Dr. Verma explains, “The tiny mucous particles escaping your body contaminate whatever is around them, potentially making nearby people sick.” He suggests ice for sore throats because it cools inflammatory tissues.

Morning warm water burns fat.

This is a popular belief, says Kokilaben Dhirubhai Ambani Hospital chief dietician Bhakti Samant. Samant denies that. “Starting the day with a glass of water is good, but temperature doesn’t matter, especially for weight loss. No scientific evidence supports it. Morning water starts your metabolism. Dr. Aggarwal recommends balanced meals and exercise for weight loss. Warm water helps soothe your throat, flush out toxins, and relieve constipation.

Microwave ovens degrade nutrition.

Samant calls this classic social media knowledge. Microwave ovens heat meals by agitating water molecules with electromagnetic waves. Microwave ovens heat food faster. Nutrient loss while cooking is not limited to microwaving. “Boiling, frying, and baking can deplete nutrients,” explains Ahlawat. Less heat means less nutritional loss. Samant says microwave cooking preserves heat-sensitive nutrients since it cooks faster.

The type, preparation, and cooking of a dish affect its nutrient content. Ahlawat claims microwave cooking is safe and healthy without affecting nutrient content. Reheating food destroys nutrients. Stop it.

Milk is finest food.

Amit Gupta, senior paediatric physician at Fortis Escorts Hospital in Faridabad, Haryana, says milk is a superfood for newborns under six months but not for adults. Milk can cause bloating, nausea, and digestive difficulties. Milk can cause digestive troubles in lactose-intolerant people by releasing enzymes into the bloodstream. Milk can cause exhaustion, sluggishness, and acne breakouts.

“The powerful dairy industry lobby has successfully promoted the idea that milk is essential for health and that we need to consume large amounts of it to meet our nutritional needs,” Ahlawat says. Samant claims milk provides protein, calcium, various B vitamins, iodine, selenium, vitamin A, vitamin D, potassium, and phosphorus. “Some studies have shown that consuming too much milk can actually increase the risk of bone fractures,” says Ahlawat. Other calcium-rich foods include leafy greens, almonds, and tofu.

Negatives exist. Milk’s saturated fat can cause heart disease. Milk protein allergies can cause rashes, edema, and breathing problems. Ahlawat says that commercial dairy farms utilize antibiotics and hormones to boost milk production, which can harm humans and animals. Nourish With Sim founder Simrun Chopra recommends drinking one glass of milk a day and eating yogurt for a second dairy serving.

Gin and juniper berries harm “manhood.”

Juniper berries flavor gin. In colonial times, it was blended with quinine-containing tonic water and eaten widely. Preventing malaria with quinine. Samant says gin is thought to reduce testosterone and cause impotence. “However, there is limited scientific data available to prove this and hence further research is needed,” says Samant. “Alcohol, when consumed in larger quantities, can lead to low count and poor mobility of sperms.” The problem isn’t juniper berries or gin, but excessive drinking, which harms more than just sperm count and mobility.

Avoid drinking water after eating.

Samant says our ancestors believed that drinking water after a meal dilutes stomach juices that aid digestion, weakening “the Jathar Agni.” Water breaks down nutrients, improving digestion, according to modern nutrition science. Samant says it also prevents constipation. However, excessive drinking may cause bloating.

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